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West Coast Life

 

 

West Coast Life solid resources backed by a combination of innovative products and service beyond expectations.


History
West Coast Life represents a spirited history that includes an impressive list of "firsts" that few companies can match.


Instinctive Determination and a Resilient Youth

In March of 1906, a small group of prominent businessmen met in San Francisco to organize a company dedicated to serving the insurance needs of the west. Born or bred into prosperity, they represented a cross section of Americans that composed the social and economic backbone of the new West.

Recognizing an opportunity for a west coast-based insurance company, these men turned a hunch into history. In just a few weeks they elected a board of directors and voted insurance veteran Dr. George A. Moore as president. Fueled by the determination and vision that would become its lifeblood, West Coast Life Insurance Company was established in San Francisco's
Merchants Exchange Building and opened for business on April 2, 1906.
A Fighting Spirit

Just 16 days after West Coast Life's forefathers began building their new enterprise, they awakened to the devastating rumblings of San Francisco's great earthquake and fire. Facing
their first adversity with a fighting spirit, the founders forged ahead and immediately established temporary offices. Within two weeks, business which included offering the city of San Francisco the first reconstruction loan to rebuild had resumed. At the close of 1906, not even a year old, the company reported over $1,000,000 of life insurance in force and over $225,000 in assets, matched by as much capital and surplus funds and no liabilities.

West Coast Life's offices from 1920-1972 at the southwest corner of Market and Second Streets. Foresight, Enterprise, Success

Over the next decade, West Coast Life strengthened and grew, opening insurance offices in all
of the principal cities in the west. The first general agency was established in Honolulu in 1912, marking West Coast Life as the first American life insurance company in Hawaii.

Expansion continued but not at the expense of efficiency. In 1915, to reduce costs and business duplication, West Coast Life merged with the San Francisco Life Insurance Company. During this period, the new firm entered and appointed agents in Texas and Montana and became the first American life insurance company to operate in the Philippine Islands. For the next decade the company aggressively expanded sales and entered the Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, Oklahoma and New Mexico markets and became the first American life insurance company to open in China and the Crown Colony of Hong Kong. At the close of 1930, a robust West Coast Life reported over $20,000,000 in assets, nearly $2,000,000 in capital and surplus funds, nearly $18,000,000 in liabilities, and total life insurance in force amounting to $133,000,000.


Overseas Expansion and World War II

Prosperity and growth continued for West Coast Life with successful expansion in the Far East. Despite being cut off from overseas operations at the outset of World War II, the company continued to fulfill its policy obligations there in a manner that strengthened its reputation for quality and performance. Marketing efforts have since been concentrated in the United States.


Post War Growth and Acquisitions

Growth at home was significantly helped by acquisitions giving West Coast Life new found presence. In 1964, Nationwide Corporation (Ohio), acquired the company. West Coast Life then merged with Gulf Atlantic Life (Texas) in 1978. The company later assumed the individual life operations of Michigan Life in 1985, Durham Life (North Carolina) in 1989, Employers Life of Wausau (Wisconsin) in 1994 and Farmland Life (Iowa) in 1995. In 1997, the company was acquired by Protective Life Insurance Company (Tennessee).


A Spirited Past Positioned for the Future

West Coast Life is the oldest life insurance company home based in San Francisco and is one of the few companies that boasts a heritage extending more than 90 years. The company's slogan, "The Spirit of the West" continues to reflect the vision of its forefathers as well as being the inspiration behind West Coast Life's many outstanding industry "firsts."

Source: West Coast Life Insurance Company archives.

 

West Coast Life

Address1

343 Sansome St

Address2

 

City

San Francisco

State

CA

Zip

94104-1303

Phone Number

800-366-9378

Fax Number

415-433-1372

MORE ON WEST COAST LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY>

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